The Ashes 2005 August 7, 2005

Hayden aura has faded - Matthews

Cricinfo staff

Simon Jones makes a point to Matthew Hayden in the second innings © Getty Images

Greg Matthews believes Matthew Hayden has lost his dominant aura, but don't expect him to be dropped. Matthews told The Sunday Mail Hayden, who made a second-innings 31, had lost his "strut" during 25 innings without a hundred.

"My big worry about Matthew is ... he's a superstar, great bloke, great player, Christian, all that 'you-beaut' stuff, but his body language is just not what it was," Matthews, the former allrounder, told the paper. "It's not as powerful, it's not as prominent. He's not out there. That is my real worry, the strut isn't there, the look in his eyes. I don't feel his aura at the moment."

Hayden tried to be more patient as Australia chased 282 for victory at Edgbaston last night, but he was undone by Simon Jones and a brilliant catch from Marcus Trescothick. Matthews said Hayden's record since the Sri Lanka series in July last year was a worry, but he would be "shocked" if he was dropped.

"It's a hell of a trot, he'd be conscious of it and certainly not happy about it," Matthews said. "It's my sincere hope that Matt gets some runs soon. Sometimes it's just one shot and, bang, he could be away again."

Mark Taylor, who went 21 innings without a half-century in a streak ending at Edgbaston in 1997, said Hayden wasn't badly out of form. "It's not like he's out there scratching around and looking terrible," he said. "He just needs to be a bit more patient to build on the starts he's getting. The selectors should not even be contemplating dropping Matthew ... all he needs is one big knock."